Hiring Pros For Your Home Addition
Hiring Pros For Your Home Addition
So, you want more room but you love your house? Many homeowners with this problem choose to build additions to their homes instead of purchasing new ones.
Hiring a builder or home Remodeling contractor to complete your home addition is not always an easy task. There are several factors that make the decision tough.
First, there are many people out there who call themselves General Contractors, Builders, and Construction Companies. Look under ‘Builders’ or ‘Contractors’ in the phone book and you will see what we mean…there are tons of professionals listed in each area. Also, there are unadvertised pros that are out dropping business cards and trying to get customers to hire them to do their additions. Many times these are individuals who work at various other construction jobs, but offer their services on the side.
Second, there is significant cost involved with a house addition. You are talking about substantial risk when you hire a pro to build your addition, so there is extra pressure to make sure you hire the right company.
Finally, adding a home addition is a large and complicated project. Therefore, the variation and range of the bids companies submit can be large. You could see estimates that vary depending on the job.
So what do you do when looking for a professional to build your home addition?
• Asking your friends and neighbors to see if they have had good or bad experiences with local contractors. Simply knowing that another person has had a good experience with a builder prior to calling them lessens your chance of hiring a problem.
• If you have the time, call a few contractors to look at your house and give you an estimate on a home addition. This will help you determine fair market price for your job. This does not mean you should always go with the lowest price, you should go with the company you feel most comfortable with and who you feel will do the best job. If an individual is offering a real low price you should ask yourself “why?”.
• Determine what it is you want your home addition to be. Is it a new bedroom, a new family room, or a finished basement? Have a general idea of what you want and what you can afford before calling a pro.
• Many people will convince you that, because you have increased your home’s value, you will get the money spent on a home addition back when it comes time to sell your house. This may be true…but be cautious. A large addition may price your house out of your neighborhood. This means you may not be able to list your house for the price increase you want because it makes your house way more expensive then the ones in your neighborhood. You need to determine if your addition is a good financial move, or if it would be better to simply move into a bigger house. A real estate agent can help you determine this.
• Depending on the size of your project you may need to talk to an architect or structural engineer to decide if you need plans drawn up, or if your existing house can structurally handle the addition you want to build. Your contractor should be able to help determine the need for this help.
• If you are building second story additions over existing areas of the house it is highly recommended that you seek out a structural engineer to determine if this is possible.
• You should use a licensed general contractor.
• Make sure the company or individual is bonded and has insurance. You could be held liable for a worker’s injury at your house. Also, if a mistake was made and your house is now a disaster you need to be sure that the contractor has the available insurance to pay for the damage repair. That is why insurance and bonding is so important. As mentioned above there are many fly-by-night contractors that may not be insured. Ask them for proof of insurance before they start your home addition.
• Be very specific in regard to communicating what you want your addition to be. In order for the company to provide you with an accurate estimate you need to be clear with your expectations. Do you want high end materials, crown molding, and granite countertops? This will all affect price.
• If your job is large, make sure you determine a payment schedule upfront.
• Always get a statement of work to be performed in writing. Keep this filed away. Make sure the statements clearly describe what work is to be completed.
• Ask if the home addition work comes with guarantees. Make sure you get these things in writing. These are all factors to weigh when looking at the total estimates left by different house addition pros.
• Check in on your home addition progress regularly…try to catch potential problems or misunderstandings early so that the situation can be corrected.
• If the pro that does your home addition does a great job tell them you will recommend them.
Good luck with building your house addition!